Many of us are told to brush our teeth twice a day from a very young age. As we get older, we may also be taught how to floss and told why it is important. However, once we become teenagers and adults, a busy and active life often gets in the way and we forget both why taking care of our teeth is important, and exactly what we should be doing to keep them healthy and looking great.
Taking care of our teeth should be something that we always make time for. Unfortunately, many of us take our teeth for granted, only realizing quite how much we rely on them once we are in pain or we aren't able to use them as we would normally. However, although we may notice that the function of our teeth is impaired first, and we may not be able to bite and chew properly, there are far more serious consequences that we may not be aware of straight away. This is because it isn't just dental decay we need to be concerned about. A potentially larger threat lurks in the form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums and has been linked to a variety of general health conditions, some of which can be serious or even life-threatening. These include diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease and some types of cancer.
Failing to take proper care of our teeth also affects the way that they look. Your physical appearance is probably fairly important to you, and the way that your smile looks can have a significant effect on your confidence and self-esteem. People who dislike their teeth often struggle in social situations because they are worried about drawing attention to their smile.
Fortunately, by looking after your teeth you can help to sustain their function and appearance and enjoy better dental and general health.
The good news is that there are lots of different things that you can do to help keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling fantastic.
By far the most important step in taking care of your teeth is to clean them regularly. By brushing at least twice a day, you are removing food particles that can interact with the bacteria in your mouth and cause plaque and tooth decay. It can also prevent plaque from building up and causing periodontal disease that leads to other health problem.
Brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste, ideally first thing in the morning after breakfast, and again just before bed. If you can, invest in an electric toothbrush as these have shown to offer a much more thorough clean.
Flossing can be a little fiddly and time consuming, and as such, it is often one of the first dental habits to slip. However, flossing helps to remove bacteria and food debris from those tiny gaps that your toothbrush cannot reach, and this makes it an invaluable part of your dental hygiene routine. Make sure you floss once a day for the best dental health.
Snacking is the mortal enemy of good dental health. This is because it takes place between the times when we brush our teeth, meaning that any sugars and food debris remains on our teeth for the remainder of the day. In addition to this, most snack foods tend to be fairly unhealthy for our teeth – even fruit contains high levels of sugar after all. Try and limit how much you snack, and follow anything you eat with a glass of water to help wash away any remaining particles.
Chewing gum may not be the most attractive habit, but it is good for your teeth. Chewing stimulates the natural production of saliva, which is a good defence against tooth decay as it neutralizes acids and washes it away. Chewing gums between meals has been shown to be beneficial for your oral health.
Our dentist is your partner in crime when it comes to your dental health and there is no one that you can rely on more. By attending your regular check-ups, you give our dentist the opportunity to spot any dental problems early, before they can do serious and potentially expensive damage to your smile. Our dentist can also treat any areas of your teeth that are adversely affected by decay or other dental problems, restoring the appearance and function of your smile.
If you would like more advice on the best way to look after your teeth, make an appointment with our experienced dental team at your convenience. Contact us and we would be delighted to support you in maintaining a healthy and attractive smile for years to come.